I’ve seen the whole gamut of websites.  Ones that haven’t changed since the 90’s, the I-vomited-on-my-website ones, the all Flash ones, the barely-have-any-information ones and the cost-15-grand ones.  I think I’ve developed an eye and appreciation for a good website – and it does not have to cost an arm and a leg.  Here are a few things you can do to improve the look and functionality of your website.

K.I.S.S…but not too much

I’m a big fan of “keep it simple, stupid” – especially when it comes to websites.  On the other hand, you don’t want a website 987822_httpthat is so slim on content that one can’t find what they’re looking for or have no idea what you do.  I’ve seen a couple of businesses assume, based on past brand recognition, that people know who they are, and settle for a webpage with nothing more than their logo, a brief description and contact information.  Epic. Fail.

Time for an upgrade. No, really.

Some businesses still have hit counters and animated gifs on them.  I think a puppy dies anytime someone accidentally lands on their site.  Your entire website might look like it was created by Gomer Pyle, but the very least you can do is remove the offending items.  No sense boasting about how dated your site is.

Some other things that scream the need for a complete trash and overhaul of your website?  Inconsistent color scheme from page to page and the use of Flash on your site.  Yes, Flash.  Do you really want people needing to download and install software just to view your website? To add insult to injury, a lot of the Flash animations don’t really show anything important – it just leaves an ugly placeholder or error/download text in the space.

Put it to work

Back in the good ol’ days, you can throw up a website with all your info and that was the end of it.  We’ve evolved now and websites can actually be more than a placeholder for your business online.  It can collect and send leads right to your email inbox or CRM platform.  But all that starts with data capture form that can collect names, phone numbers, emails, etc.  Add that in conjunction with a value add like an e-newsletter, ebook or whitepaper and you’ve bumped your site into the 21st century.

Doing these simple things can give your website the face lift it so desperately needs.  In the end, it might just need to be scrapped and totally redone (dated or mediocre branding can easily require an overhaul).  I suggest getting some opinions from strangers – no family or others wrapped up in nostalgia for the brand.  When it comes to first impressions, your website might be the one greeting your potential customers.  It’s important enough to revisit it regularly to make sure it’s giving the impression you want.